To Open or Not?
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog for my Covid 19 experience as a small business. Partly because the weather has been so good I’ve been out the garden enjoying the time off, and partly because there hasn’t really been much to update. Things haven’t changed that much.
Its been nearly 3 months now, and in that time I’ve gone from worrying if this was the end of the business, having my best 2 weeks online in history, cancelling my Gavin and Stacey event on Barry island and now, on to debating if I should open or not.
The past 3-4 weeks I’ve been toying with opening, even just for takeaway ice cream/drinks etc, in line with government guidelines. I’ve nearly opened twice, I’ve been talked out of it, twice. A few weeks ago it was a moral debate if businesses on Barry island should be open. The beach is closed to visitors except locals, police have been turning people away as well, if businesses open, it gives the impression that the island is ‘open for business’ when quite frankly it’s not, although it can be open for locals only on their exercise route. Although most businesses have a loyal local customer base, opening can be seen has undermining what the police and council have been trying to do and that’s keep people away and off the beach to stay home and save lives. However the knap beach and lake has been open all the way through, most businesses have been operating as usual with changes.
It’s only really in the last 2 weeks I’ve been swaying towards opening. I’ve been down the shop most days, sorting, painting, packing orders etc. People have been knocking the window asking to buy stuff but I’ve turned them away. So I thought if I’m down there anyway, then I might as well open for that period in which I’m down there.
June is a pivotal month, Mortgage holidays are up, suppliers want paying etc. The crisis is slightly better although we are not out of the woods yet and I don’t envisage this for a while. I feel like I’m ready to start back to see how it goes. I can’t avoid it forever. Some people have been to work non stop all the way through this, in which I have huge respect for.
I feel this weekend is the right time to re-open, initially on reduced hours etc and weather dependant. It’s been a strange year. It’s gone from horrific storms, to the pandemic. It probably would’ve been my best year in history, but all targets and goals are gone now, it’s just about ‘seeing the year through’, with the aim of starting fresh next spring, fingers crossed.
Thank you for your continued support during lockdown. The shop will be re-opening for ice cream etc on Sunday June 14th.
Stay alert, eat ice cream, love Barry :-)